By Daniel Chigundu
National Association of Youth Organisations (NAYO) says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) performed badly during the just ended 2018 general elections and need to improve for future polls.
Criticism of ZEC emanates from its reluctance to implement reforms demanded by opposition parties and stakeholders and its poor communication on issues to do with voters’ roll and ballot paper printing among many others.
Addressing the media on NAYO’s assessment of the electoral process, its director Misheck Gondo said ZEC needs to improve its performance if people are to take elections seriously next time.
“As noted in our interim statement, the 2018 harmonised elections were largely peaceful in the pre-election period and ZEC’s performance in the 2018 elections was below the expectations of the Zimbabwean populace.
“ZEC attitude and performance must be rectified if future elections are to be taken seriously in the country. Political parties must avoid hate speech and acts that cause violence during the entire electoral process and the respect of women should be a priority for all political actors.
“We urge all political parties to utilise peaceful, legal and constitutional means in the case where there are disagreements with the electoral outcome. It is our conclusion that the 2018 harmonised elections noted some improvements but lacked fairness and freeness,” he said.
Gondo also took the opportunity to commend political leaders and the people of Zimbabwe for continuously advocating for tolerance and peace before, during and after elections.
He said unless there are free and fair elections in the country there will always be challenges with legitimacy and sustainable development.
“Leaders should, however, take seriously the fact that a free, fair trustworthy and credible electoral process should become the bedrock of our political system if real peace, legitimacy and sustainable development are to be realised in our lifetime,” he said.